Here's exactly how these diet fads start.
Complimenting an acquaintance on her slimmer, trimmer figure, she says: "I've been on this hCG diet.". Ooh, I think, it must work since she looks great.
"All the girls at work were losing weight with it, so I figured I should try. You put a few drops of this all-natural substance into your food. That's all there is to it." Wow, I think. Miracle drops!
"Oh, and you also have to stick with a 500-calorie-a-day limit." I wonder if I looked visibly crestfallen with this extra news. Was it me, or did this reek of a scam? If you're on a starvation diet, drops don't really matter!
I feel bad because I didn't question her on it. Didn't call out what sounded incredibly hoax-ridden to me. Seems like I should have said quite bluntly: "You are being scammed." Doing my part to let the buck stop here, ya know?
Later I did a little scouring of the Internet for more information, pros and cons, the price, and the drops were $140 for a one-month supply! Highway robbery.
Discovery Health reported: "Most independent, peer-reviewed studies of the hCG diet have shown no difference in weight loss between subjects on a low-calorie diet who received hCG injections and subjects who received a placebo [source: Conis]." And they're talking about the more powerful, prescribed and injected form of hCG, not the chintzy buy-it-on-the-'Net drops.
I may not be able to explain in a doctor's lingo how the pregnancy hormone hCG -- stands for human chorionic gonadotropin -- works on the nonpregnant body. But I know somebody's making a heavy profit on these so-called slenderizing drops. And that, I get, without the medical degree.